Judaism (340-20300 & 344-20300)
Spring 2006

Mishnah Rosh Hashanah

1:1 There are four new years:

    1. the first day of Nisan is the new year for kings and festivals;
    2. the first day of Elul is the new year for tithing cattle
    3. Rabbi Eleazar and Rabbi Simeon say, "It is on the first day of Tishre."

    4. The first day of Tishre is the new year for the reckoning of years, for Sabbatical years, and for Jubilees, for planting trees and for vegetables
    5. The first day of Shevat is the new year for trees, in accord with the opinion of the House of Shammai.

The House of Hillel say, "On the fifteenth of that month is the new year for trees."

1:2 At four seasons of the year the world is judged:

    1. at Passover for grain
    2. at Shavuot for fruit of the tree
    3. at the New Year all who enter the world pass before him like troops, since it is said, He who fashions the hearts of them all, who considers all their works (Ps. 33:15)
    4. and on the Festival of Sukkot they are judged in regard to water.

Mishnah Yoma – the ritual of Yom Kippur

(prior to this point, the High Priest has prepared himself by washing several times and clothing himself in linen before beginning the sacrifices of Yom Kippur)

3:8

He came over to his bullock. Now his bullock was set between the Porch and the Altar [two places in the Temple]. Its head was to the south and its face to the west. And the priest stands at the east, with his face to the west. And he puts his two hands on it and states the confession. And thus did he say: "O Lord, I have committed iniquity, transgressed, and sinned before you, I and my house. O Lord, forgive the iniquities, transgressions, and sins, which I have done by committing iniquity, transgression, and sin before you, I and my house. As it is written in the Torah of Moses, your servant For on this day shall atonement be made for you to clean you. From all your sins shall you be clean before the Lord (Lev. 16:30)."
And they [those listening] respond to him: "Blessed is the name of glory of his kingdom forever and ever."

3:9

He came to the east side of the courtyard, to the north of the altar, with the prefect at his right hand and the head of the court at his left. There were two goats. There was also a box with two lots.

4:1

He shook the box and brought up the two lots. On one was written, "For the Lord," and on one was written, "For Azazel." The prefect was at his right, and the head of the court at his left. If the lot "for the Lord" came up on his right hand, the prefect says to him, "My lord, high priest, raise up your right hand." If the one "for the Lord" came up in his left hand, the head of the court says to him, "My lord, high priest, raise up your left hand."
He put them on the two goats and says, "For the Lord, a sin offering."
And they respond to him, "Blessed is the name of the glory of his kingdom forever and ever."

4:2

He tied a crimson thread on the head of the goat which was to be sent forth, and set it up towards the way by which it would be sent out. And on that which was to be slaughtered he tied a crimson thread at the place at which the act of slaughter would be made [the throat].

And he came to his bullock a second time and put his two hands on it and made the confession. And thus did he say, "O Lord, I have committed iniquity, transgressed, and sinned before you, I and my house and the children of Aaron [the priests], your holy people. O Lord, forgive, I pray, the iniquities, transgressions, and sins which I have committed, transgressed, and sinned before you, I, my house, and the children of Aaron, your holy people. As it is written in the Torah of Moses, your servant For on this day shall atonement be made for you to clean you. From all your sins shall you be clean before the Lord (Lev. 16:30)."

And they [those listening] respond to him: "Blessed is the name of the glory of his kingdom forever and ever."

6:2

He comes to the goat which is to be sent forth and lays his two hands on it and makes the confession. And thus did he say, "O Lord, your people, the house of Israel, has committed iniquity, transgressed, and sinned before you. Forgive, O Lord, I pray, the iniquities, transgressions, and sins, which your people, the house of Israel, have committed, transgressed, and sinned before you, . As it is written in the Torah of Moses, your servant For on this day shall atonement be made for you to clean you. From all your sins shall you be clean before the Lord (Lev. 16:30)."

And the priests and people standing in the courtyard, when they would hear the high priest pronounce the Name of God, would kneel and bow down and fall on their faces and say, "Blessed be the name of the glory of his kingdom forever and ever."

6:3

He gave the scapegoat over to the one who was to lead it out.

6:4

The eminent people of Jerusalem used to accompany him [the one who was to lead the goat] to the first booth. There were ten booths from Jerusalem to the ravine.

6:5

At each booth they would say to him, "Here is food, here is water." And they accompany him from one booth to the next, except for the man in the last booth among them, who does not go out with him to the ravine. But he stands from a distance and observes what he does.

6:6

Now what did he do? He divided the crimson thread. Half of it he tied to a rock and half of it he tied between its horns. He then pushed it over backwards, and it rolled down the ravine. And it did not reach halfway down the mountain before it broke into pieces. He came and sat himself down under the last booth until it got dark.

6:8

They said to the high priest, "The goat has reached the wilderness." Now how did they know that the goat had come to the wilderness? They made sentinel posts, and waved flags, so they might know that the goat had reached the wilderness.

Rabbi Ishmael says, "Now did they not have another sign? There was a crimson thread tied to the door of the sanctuary. When the goat had reached the wilderness, the thread would turn white, as it says, Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow."

8:1

On the Day of Atonement it is forbidden to eat, drink, bathe, put on any sort of oil, put on a sandal, or engage in sexual relations. But a king and a bride may wash their faces. "And a woman who has given birth may put on her sandal," the words of Rabbi Eliezer, but the sages prohibit.

8:4

As to children, they do not impose a fast on them on the Day of Atonement. But they educate them a year or two in advance, so that they will be used to doing the religious duties.

8:5

A pregnant woman who smelled food and grew faint—they feed her until her spirits are restored. A sick person—they feed him on the instruction of experts. If there are no experts available, they feed him on his own instructions, until he says "Enough."

8:8

A sin offering and an unconditional guilt offering atone.
Death and the Day of Atonement atone when joined with repentance.
Repentance atones for minor transgressions of positive and negative commandments.
And as to serious transgressions, repentance suspends the punishment until the Day of Atonement comes along and atones.

8:9

One who says, "I shall sin and repent, sin and repent"—will have no chance to do repentance.
One who says, "I will sin and the Day of Atonement will atone"—the Day of Atonement does not atone.
For transgressions done between a person and the Omnipresent, the Day of Atonement atones.
For transgressions between one person and another, the Day of Atonement atones, only if the first one appeases the other.

This is as Rabbi Eleazar ben Arakh states: "From all your sins shall you be clean before the Lord (Lev. 16:30)—for transgressions between a person and the Omnipresent does the Day of Atonement atone. For transgressions between one person and another, the Day of Atonement atones, only if the first one appeases the other."

Rabbi Aqiba said, "Happy are you, O Israel? Before whom are you made clean, and who makes you clean? It is your Father who is in heaven, as it says, And I will sprinkle clean water on you and you will be clean (Ezekiel 36:25). And it says, O Lord, the hope [mikveh=immersion pool] of Israel (Jeremiah 17:13)—Just as the immersion pool cleans the unclean, so the Holy One, blessed be He, cleans Israel."

This page maintained by: Rebecca Lesses
Last revised January 12, 2006